In conjunction with Suicide Prevention Month, VA Bedford Healthcare System is raising awareness of its mental health resources available for Veterans.
“Veterans are driven and resilient, but everyone needs help sometimes,” said Joan Clifford, VA Bedford HCS director. “Whether Veterans are looking for peer-to-peer support, clinical care, counseling, or something else, VA is here to help. VA and community resources can help Veterans through life’s challenges.”
Whether you’re a Veteran or a Veteran supporter, there are many ways to reach out:
- Calling or texting a friend or fellow Veteran to talk about what they’re going through
- Tapping into VA tools to get help when going through life’s challenges:
- VA Bedford Mental Health Walk-in Clinic, building 78, 2nd floor, 8 am – 4 pm or call (781) 687-2347
- Make the Connection, where more than 600 Veterans and family members share their stories of strength and recovery
- MyVA411, where Veterans, their families, and caregivers can call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) to easily access information on VA benefits and services
- If you are a supporter, reach out, offer support, and encourage the Veterans you know to ask for help when they need it
VA also has resources to help Veterans transitioning from the military or going through a difficult time in life. VA Solid Start connects Veterans with qualified representatives who call three times during a Veteran’s first year of separation to walk through benefits available. The Self-Check Assessment is a confidential, anonymous risk assessment Veterans can use to help them understand if and how stress and depression are affecting them.
Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can get free, confidential support through the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans where trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Veterans do not have to be registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans.
Veterans and loved ones can also find additional, external resources on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services tool.
For more information and resources, visit REACH.gov/SPM.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text 838255, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat. Veterans don’t have to be enrolled in VA health care or registered with VA to use the Veterans Crisis Line.
Media covering this issue can download VA’s Safe Messaging Best Practices fact sheet or visit www.ReportingOnSuicide.org for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.